So my problem is that I don't know which is recorded first, do you record the orchestra first or do you record the drums or guitar first?

I've tried recording the drums first but it didn't sound right next to the orchestra.

I've also made a list of the things on which we should record first.

I'm not sure if this is the correct order:

  • Lead Vocal
  • Backing Vocal
  • Drums
  • Guitar
  • Piano
  • Orchestra
  • Sonically, it should make no difference. Are you working to a click track?
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Apr 1, 2020 at 13:51
  • Depends, I prefer recording one rough thing, recording everything over the rough thing(s) and rerecording the rough things. This question is on unstable ground - Might get closed as "Opinion-Based". Slightly add more Information to the question to make it a not-Opinion-Based-Tone one. Commented Apr 1, 2020 at 14:06

2 Answers 2


If it's a rhythm-based song, lay down the rhythm section, drums, bass, enough piano or guitar to enable the lead singer. Maybe a guide instrumental track of the melody to give the singer something to latch on to. All these tracks can be replaced later if needed, but get the groove right - everyone else's performance will need to fit with it. Then the lead vocal. Then you can start building up the rest of the tracks, supporting the lead but, most importantly, leaving SPACE for the lead.

Everything can be re-done, improved. But if the underlying beat is set, and everything else takes it into account from the outset, there won't be much 'fixing' to do. Listen BEFORE you record rather than fixing AFTER.


All live, I guess? If you can only lay one track down first, drums is good.That sets the tempo (with a good drummer!) Drum breaks can always be overdubbed. Then the rest of the rhythm section - guitar (rhythm) and bass - any order.Assuming the drummer can play to a click track, it's worth including one. If not, and the drummer fluctuates, on what may essentially be a dance track, it may need to be quantised later. It may well help if the others - bass, guitar, vox play along to be heard only in the drummer's cans. It makes life easier for the drummer to have that to play along to, rather than just play in isolation.

That all gives the piano, orchestra and vocals something to latch onto. Bear in mind that any rough bits can be overdubbed at a later stage, and it rather depends what the 'orchestra' is adding to the piece.If the piece is supposed to go out of time, then it's pretty important for the drumer to hear the others.

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